Make room for religious diversity in the workplace

Banning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols would show obstinate and dangerous secularism

Make room for religious diversity in the workplaceBanning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols, as premier-designate François Legault intends to do, would be socially regressive. Imposing this kind of flinty and obstinate secularism squashes the very diversity most politicians claim to value and support. It’s also out of step with the growing awareness among the business community that religious diversity…

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?

Marriage understands shared existence, including the economic, spiritual, social and sexual aspects of our lives

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?With the Ontario government’s public consultations on a new sex-ed curriculum well underway, we should recognize that both the old and new versions of the document suffer from the same fatal flaw. Neither makes any effort to educate about marriage – in fact, the word is never mentioned – as a significant social institution. The…

A commitment to diversity must include room for faith

Religious and faith communities are among the most racially and ethnically diverse parts of Canadian society

A commitment to diversity must include room for faithDepending on political preference, most Canadians would likely agree that diversity is our strength or is a product of our strength. Regardless of the preferred permutation, those views recognize diversity as a central feature of Canadian society. That’s all well and good, but what does that commitment to diversity really mean? A quick scan of…

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls short

Diversity separated from unity is generally not a good thing. We need unity of purpose, on the field and in life

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls shortDiversity concerns have been front and centre in recent days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized a woman’s view as “racist” after she heckled him; Maxime Bernier criticized “extreme multiculturalism” before he left the Conservative Party to set up his own. Rhetoric about diversity can be both heated and so routine as to be boilerplate, obscuring…

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common good

Beware the arrogance of the new age. Attempting to cleanse history is a fool’s or, worse, a tyrant’s errand

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common goodIn the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples – the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again. Enter the City of Victoria and Sir John A. Macdonald. In removing his statue from in front of Victoria City Hall, the denizens…

Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…

Will the Supreme Court uphold our liberty to dissent?

The Trinity Western University case represents one of the most important religious freedom decisions of the past 20 years

Will the Supreme Court uphold our liberty to dissent?On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its ruling in the Trinity Western University case. Until the judgment is made public, of course, no one knows which way the court might swing. For all who’ve tracked the dispute’s progress through the legal process, however, it stands to be among the most important religious…

The hollow gestures of an overreaching government

The Trudeau government’s aspirations to mandate equality, diversity and inclusion must be open for discussion, not just blindly accepted

The hollow gestures of an overreaching governmentI seem to have a penchant for seeking out protests – not necessarily to participate but to observe, to soak in the screams, the worn-out chants, the always amusing soundbite slogans. This particular demonstration, while not well attended, took place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The “anti-capitalist” rally and march in support…

Why marriage still matters

From health to wealth, from personal happiness to better outcomes for children, the benefits of traditional relationships are many

Why marriage still mattersBy Andrea Mrozek and Peter Jon Mitchell Cardus Canadian supporters of marriage are speaking up – and not a moment too soon. In a recent Angus Reid Institute survey, about 56 per cent of Canadians said, “marriage is simply not necessary” to form a lifelong relationship. Almost the same proportion (57 per cent) went on…

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friend

But it’s far more likely that the institutions at neighbourhood levels are better positioned to address key aspects of loneliness

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friendSince her January appointment as the United Kingdom’s minister of loneliness, Tracey Crouch has started work on a multimillion-dollar fund of anti-loneliness programs. That’s spurred debate about whether Canada and other countries should follow suit. While social isolation deserves our attention, a new federal minister may not be the answer. A growing body of research…

Call for papal apology an affront to religious liberty

MPs telling bishops what to do is a monstrous misunderstanding of the relationship between political power and civil society

Call for papal apology an affront to religious libertyParliament will set back both truth and reconciliation if it passes a motion proposed by Charlie Angus, the NDP MP from Timmins-James Bay. He wants Canada’s Catholic bishops to invite Pope Francis to visit Canada to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) included a…

Liberals’ “values test” a threat to freedom in Canada

The freedom of Canadian citizens to peacefully oppose anything, including abortion, is the very base on which all rights are founded

Liberals’ “values test” a threat to freedom in CanadaNDP MP David Christopherson gets it. Liberal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu apparently just can’t. Christopherson broke party ranks and voted for a Conservative motion in late March demanding the government scrap its “values test” for Canada Summer Jobs funding. Even with Christopherson’s support, the motion was easily defeated. “If the law is an ass, you…

Not just a fluffy tale about the Easter Bunny

Children's aid society removed children from care because the foster parents wouldn't lie about the Easter Bunny

Not just a fluffy tale about the Easter BunnyMuch of the media coverage of the legal decision involving Derek and Frances Baars and the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton has treated it as a quirky story about a Christian family versus the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. In fact, the 61-page decision by Justice A.J. Goodman is a blistering critique of the aid…

Why churches don’t pay taxes

It’s a matter of recognizing that the church is not ultimately subject to the sovereignty of the state

Why churches don’t pay taxesJERUSALEM – A combustible dispute over property taxes led to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem being closed in protest for three days. The mayor of Jerusalem, without notice or consultation, slapped tax arrears assessments on church properties not used for worship, including the vast number of guesthouses that welcome pilgrims visiting the…

Systemic racism or a protected, impartial process?

The Gerald Stanley-Colten Boushie case has touched off a firestorm that reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how our legal system works

Systemic racism or a protected, impartial process?Reaction to the Gerald Stanley-Colten Boushie verdict continues to roil in Canada’s legal system. The latest stir of the pot comes from the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers. The council sent a tart reproach this week to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould for their responses to the acquittal of Stanley,…
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